Merry Christmas!

Are you ready for Christmas then? I don’t really know how (since December always follows November!) but December has suddenly crept up on me this year.  It’s been hectic getting cards and presents made, wrapped and delivered, together with going to work and also, sadly, having to return to Derbyshire for a few days for a family funeral.  However, the end of this week saw me being able to just relax and do some Christmassy things for me. 

Firstly, my sister has come to stay for a few days so we started by visiting the local garden centre to see the reindeer that they have each year in December.  This year they were called Glacier and Cloudy and they were gorgeous, as always.

This one was particularly hungry and kept coming to the fence to see if there was any food available, which allowed me several strokes of his velvety nose! Love that nose!!

We then took advantage of the photo opportunity on the snowman seat – it was a bit of a squeeze!

I did have to do some last-minute crafting this week.  We’ve bought gift vouchers online for some gifts so I wanted to make a more interesting presentation wallet than just a plain envelope.  Mr L had requested some Christmas cards like Santa suits….

…so I made the gift envelopes in the same style but with a beard rather than fur trim on the coat.  For the beard, I die cut half a scalloped oval however it could be a shape cut out with scissors though.  I embossed it with a swirly patterned embossing folder to add some texture.  I have a buckle die but one can easily be made by cutting out a black rectangle the same width as the belt, cutting out a glitter/metallic rectangle ⅛” bigger and sticking the black rectangle on top.

Next, after foraging in the garden and the lane, I passed an enjoyable hour making my festive foliage table decoration.  The trouble is that it’s so large, we won’t be able to get our plates of Christmas dinner on the table! 

Lastly, I finally got around to making a tree to display my Twelve Days Ornaments (from April 2019 blog post).  I didn’t want to put them on the Christmas tree as I thought they’d get a bit lost and I wanted to be able to properly see them! I chopped a couple of branches, tied them together then glued them into holes I drilled in a log. I sprayed the branches with some glitter spray, wrapped a hessian strip around the trunk, fairy lights around the branches and covered the top of the log with some embossing paste mixed with glitter. I was very happy with how it turned out.

However you’re celebrating Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful time!

 

 

 

Brightly Gleaming

A couple of quick cards this week made using Stampin’ Up! Brightly Gleaming set.  I wanted to create some clean and simple style cards predominantly using white and metallics.

First, I stamped two of the bauble images twice, embossed each pair in gold and silver and cut them out using the matching punches.  For my backgrounds, I wanted some texture so I embossed my card using the long-retired pine bough folder.

Next, I cut some strips of gold and silver glitter card to edge my card fronts and liners and heat embossed the sentiment from the set.

I heat embossed the smaller decoration onto the envelope and the liner and stuck the liner into the card base, adding the glitter strips to the edges.

I repeated the glitter edging on the card front pieces.

The last job was to add foam dimensionals to adhere the baubles and sentiments.

The resulting cards were simple but elegant that I’d be happy to have on my mantlepiece.

 

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

Feels Like Frost

Frosted Foliage stamps and the Frosted Frames dies are part of the Feels Like Frost suite in this year’s Autumn/Winter catalogue.  The suite includes Seaside Spray metallic ribbon, chunky glitter and some gorgeous DSP.  I don’t often buy DSP as I never know what to do with it!  This DSP has such beautiful images so I thought I’d challenge myself to use some on a card.

The Frosted Frames don’t actually cut out any of the images from The Frosted Foliage set; they’re more complimentary than coordinating.

I used the large greeting from the set and also the ‘Seasons Greetings’ from So Many Stars.  The snowflakes and foliage stamps were repeat stamped to fill in the blank space surrounding the greetings.  I used silver embossing powder on Whisper White card and on vellum and used the smaller frame to cut them out.

I tried white embossing powder but wasn’t happy with the finish.  The colour was slightly off white and the images weren’t crisp.  I made it into a tag anyway with a Seaside Spray frame and metallic ribbon!

To add some extra interest without detracting from the DSP frame, I stamped the foliage and snowflakes with Versamark and applied clear embossing powder.  This gives a shiny, subtle background.

I cut out the fancy frame from one of the darker DSP sheets and mounted the vellum on top using tiny dots of glue behind the embossed areas so that the adhesive didn’t show through.

For my next card, I stamped the foliage and snowflakes in the same ink as the card base, Blackberry Bliss in this case.

The fancy frame was cut from Smoky Slate and I went over the edges with my Wink of Stella pen to get a sparkly, frosty look.

The last card was made the same way using Night of Navy and Seaside Spray.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Z-fold Christmas Tree Card

Z-fold cards are very cool! This card was demonstrated by Amanda from Inspiring Inkin’ during a recent team training video.  I have made Z-cards before but I liked Amanda’s addition of the ‘foot’.  This card also offers the opportunity to use up any odd bits of DSP.

Whilst the supplies list may seem extensive, once they’re all assembled, the card comes together really quickly.  As well as a fab Christmas card, this can also be modified to include a gift card holder too.

I scored only the centre of the card base to begin and masked the back with a sticky note.  Using the same ink as the card base, I randomly stamped the tree image.  This process was repeated on the reverse side.

The tree image was also stamped on the card liner and envelope.

I heat embossed the tree and cut it out using the punch.  The sentiment, from Itty Bitty Christmas, was stamped on the white circle.

Next, I added the second score line onto the front of the card, to form the Z-fold.

The tree was mounted onto the largest circle.  It’s important to get it central so I used the grid paper to help with this.

I didn’t have any DSP to match the Seaside Spray card, so instead I stamped the group of small stars (So Many Stars) repeatedly on Layer 3.  All the layers were assembled and the tree mounted in the centre.  Again, I used the grid paper to ensure the tree was central.

The liner was stuck onto the inside of the card.  The left-hand side of the layered piece was glued onto the front of the Z-fold.  Once this was in place, the foot was assembled and glued onto the front, lining up the edge of the circle with the bottom and edge of the card base.

Z-fold card in Seaside Spray, Silver Foil paper and silver embossed tree.

To convert to a gift card holder, I took a piece of card 2¾” x 4⅛” and punched a semi-circular thumb hole.  Tear ’n’ tape was applied to the other three sides.

This piece was then stuck onto the reverse of the Z-fold to make the pocket for the gift card.

Gift card holder in Real Red, Gold Foil paper, DSP and gold embossed tree.
The complete collection. Additional two cards are Night of Navy, Silver Foil paper and N-o-N/clear embossed tree and Old Olive, Copper Foil paper, DSP with copper embossed tree.

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Left-Handed Crafting!

I’m happy to report that I’m out of the sling this week although nowhere near back to normal yet ☹ The few days in the sling allowed my muscles to calm down enough so that the weight of my arm was bearable again.  This week I’ve had some physio and acupuncture and I’ve got this really jazzy strapping helping me out.

However, I still can’t use my right hand for very long until my arm starts to hurt so I thought I’d challenge my left hand to some everyday tasks!  The first was writing.  Well, I struggled to even hold the pen to begin with! My pages of alphabet look like they were written by a 6-year old but at least they look like letters.  My blog posts and photo editing is also all being done left handed, albeit slowly, but I have learned some useful keyboard shortcuts.

So, then I turned my attention to crafting and what I could make that would be simple, forgiving and hopefully not too frustrating.  I had some 2” strips of card left over from another project that I’d saved for tags, so tags it was! My coordination with my left-hand, when operating solo, is a bit sketchy so I used my Stamparatus to help with the stamping.  The bare trees from Winter Woods were mounted on one side of the door and the greeting on the other.  I stamped them onto the lining paper so I could line up my tags with the images.

Using Versamark ink and clear embossing powder, I stamped and heat set the trees on each tag.  Then I cut a wavy edge to the top of a Post-it note for the mask and used the overhangs of the mask to hold the tag in position.  I used a sponge brayer to colour the sky.  The ink is applied so gradually, it’s a very forgiving method so handy for my non-dominant hand.

The embossing resists the ink and any residue was easily removed with a tissue.  To give more texture to the sky, I spritzed some water on and dabbed it off with a tissue.

Next, the door of the Stamparatus was turned over so I could stamp the greeting.  I then punched the tops with the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.

Since they were Christmas tags, I wanted a bit of sparkle so I put them into my ‘spraying box’ and sprayed with Champagne Shimmer Mist/isopropyl alcohol mix.

The last job was to attach some ribbon, for which I did have to bring my right hand out of retirement!  The whole project probably took me twice as long as usual but at least I was crafting.  It must have given my brain quite a workout too as I had to have a nap afterwards!

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!